Doug Ducey, Arizona state treasurer and former head of ice cream parlor chain Cold Stone Creamery, prevailed in a crowded primary to capture the Republican nomination for governor.
As of Wednesday, Ducey had about 36% of the vote with an estimated 97% of precincts reporting. Scott Smith, former mayor of Mesa, came in second with 22% of the vote. Four other candidates rounded out the field.
Ducey will face off against Democrat Fred DuVal to succeed Gov. Jan Brewer in the heavily Republican state. DuVal, a White House staffer during the Bill Clinton administration and former chairman with the Arizona Board of Regents, ran unopposed in the primary.
The Tuesday election came a day after the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver heard arguments on the constitutionality of laws in Arizona and Kansas requiring residents to prove citizenship through a passport or birth certificate before they can register to vote in state and local elections. The states' rules are stricter than federal law, which requires a voter simply to affirm U.S. citizenship in writing.
As a result, Arizona held a two-tiered primary election. Voters who had not proved their U.S. citizenship to the state’s satisfaction were given separate ballots allowing them to vote for U.S. Congress — not for governor or any other state offices. Those who had proved their citizenship were given a regular ballot with all the races.
Supporters argue that such laws prevent voter fraud. Opponents maintain that the real motivation is to make it more difficult for minorities and the poor to vote.
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